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Couples Gather at Mt. Aetna for ‘Intentional Marriage’ Weekend

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The retreat encouraged couples to plan for success in their marriage.

The Mt. Aetna Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md., hosted a marriage retreat over the weekend called “Intentional Marriage,” where couples gathered to learn the importance of intentionality in their relationships. Eli Rojas, Family Ministries director for ChesapeakeConference, led the retreat and emphasized the significance of intentional planning in a marriage.

“I called this event ‘Intentional Marriage’ because I feel that very often we do life and marriage without specific goals or plans,” Rojas said. “We get married and then anything goes and anything happens. The intentionality of marriage is so important because it helps us grow as couples and individuals and have better relationships.”

Rojas presented seminars on “Intentional Understanding” and “Intentional Spirituality in the Marriage,” while Jason Disch, pastor of the Berkeley Springs and Charles Town churches in West Virginia, gave a seminar on conflict resolution. Shawn Paris, Camp Ministries and Missions director for Chesapeake Conference, also spoke during the retreat’s opening and closing programs.

The highlight of the retreat was a banquet dinner on Saturday night prepared by the Mt. Aetna Retreat Center staff with the theme “Dinner for Two in Italy.” Couples indulged in Italian cuisine while they shared their experiences and reflected on what they had learned during the retreat.

One of the participants, Tendi Severance, shared her thoughts on the retreat. “I’ve enjoyed the presentations. They’ve been very informative and they’ve revealed things we never knew about each other,” she said.

Norman Maswela said he also enjoyed attending the retreat with his wife. “I think the reason for attending a couple’s retreat is realizing that we still have an opportunity to learn and grow…When you go to a marriage retreat, you’re getting insights from experts. You’re also getting to learn from others who have been married longer than you.”

The event is the first “Intentional Marriage” retreat that the Chesapeake Conference has held. Rojas said he hopes the retreat will become an annual event that will continue to be a resource to members for years to come.

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